Monday, July 22

The UK: Blocking Pornography Nationwide

There are already countries where Internet pornography isn't a problem for youth. Where people grow up and don't get addicted, want to get away, and yet are tantalized at every turn by a ubiquitous demon. But moving to a Muslim state isn't really an option for most 12-year-olds. It wasn't for me.

End-user filtering is always imperfect because it can be broken. I convinced my parents to install filters on our computers when I was young, then summarily hacked through them. And in today's world, where the Internet is the touch of a button away on a phone or an unlocked wifi network somewhere else... the good and the bad are always at your fingertips.

Most people I've met with SSA are or have been addicted to pornography. It started benign, then smashed them. But this isn't an adult addiction; it began between 8-14 for the majority. Yes. Your 8-year-old son could be addicted to porn.

Now I want to share good news.

David Cameron, the prime minister of the UK, announced today that ISP's (internet service providers) would begin automatically filtering Internet throughout the country for pornography unless subscribers personally opted in to pornographic content - similar to how the US mail service works. He called upon the firms' best minds to overcome the technological hurdles to make sure it worked.

And he's doing it to protect the people who are most likely to be addicted and have no control - the youth of their country.

I know there will be major hiccups, but already most major ISP's in the UK are on board. Some people will combat heavily against the choice. But, in a world that always seems to be going in the wrong direction, in a world where I was addicted to pornography, this made me smile, and cry, and give thanks to God that there are still good people who care about their families and the welfare of the people around them... and who understand how devastating an addiction to pornography can be. For a 12-year-old, or for that same person grown up and married with kids.

Maybe America will watch and follow suit. I wish we would. I hope we will. I'd go into debt to make something like this happen to help the people I love. But I think that most of that pornography is coming from our borders. And billions of dollars has traditionally spoken American better than English. Maybe we can change that. I hope so.


  1. This strikes me as one of those ideas that sounds good in theory but will be impossible to implement well in reality. I imagine a lot of households are going to opt-out of the filtering the first time Mom or Dad gets blocked from visiting a wrongly flagged site. Even if they don't, comprehensively filtering all porn on the internet is impossible. There are just too many ways to sneak content past filters. At best this will slightly slow down addicted or curious youth as they learn new ways to cheat the filters.

    Sadly, I think pornography is just one of those issues that has to be dealt with on a personal and family level. I agree it would be great if there was some external fix that removed the temptation and give the easily addicted a better chance at recovery or prevention, but from a strictly technical standpoint I don't think we will be able to build such a thing in the foreseeable future.

  2. David you know you're awesome right? I think it would be so awesome if this were to be implemented. It would be great if pornography were just considered illegal. Sure, it would still be out there, I don't think it would be possible to get rid of it completely, but it would really be awesome if authorities decided to step in and shut down companies that produce pornography.
    You're awesome David, always remember that

  3. Hi, I stumbled across your blog recently and am thankful for it- and the inspiration it gives to me (and probably others) Great Blog. Studies have shown that programs that require an OPT-OUT mechanism ie- you are automatically banned work very well. I for one, think it is an excellent idea. Pornography is one of the fastest growing problems in social work and psychology for teens today, many teen are acting out behaviour on young girls who feel compelled to participate as that's what 'real adults do etc... the has been increased suicide, depression, drug abuse, physical abuse, school drop outs, violence etc etc within schools and within the family and within the greater communit- all of this has a trickle down effect. As a result, it is far greater that a family problem and the mental, social and financial cost to countries such as England (and the AUS) where medicare is well run, is huge. Well done and thank you for publishing this!

  4. Unfortunatley its bullying thats the big online problem here in the UK. I hope the pornography sites getting into young peoples lives can eventually be policed..curiosity with the young will always be there its part of growing up. I would like to think LDS families protect their families but as I said its hard to police. You can't watch the kids every minute of the day.


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